Friday, August 20, 2010

Despicable Me (2010)

Despicable Me (2010)

My Synopsis: The “Forty Year-old Virgin” has joined Disney in a quest to rule the world!

Comments: Is it safe to say that Steve Carrell is the hardest working comedian in show business today? I mean seriously, this year alone there's “Date Night,” this movie, “Dinner for Schmucks,” and he still manages to make his stage calls on “The Office.” He's come a long way since “40 Year-old Virgin” and can sill pack in the laughs. Lending his voice to “Despicable Me” wasn't a bad move, and the movie is everything one could expect.

When I say everything that one could expect I unfortunately mean it fits in well with it's predecessors. It's set perfectly into the quirky family animated movie mold and does very little to stray from the formula. That is not to say the movie wasn't good, it was a fantastic representation of the genre, but it's originality is fleeting.

Ok, so it's not a Disney film, it's really by universal. In it we find a world that apparently has an underworld that caters to arch villains. In walks Gru, an evil genius that enjoys playing dirty tricks on children and planning impossible heists like stealing the moon. He is sort of a mix between Dr. Evil and Lex Luthor and sounds like an ex-gastapo scientist, so you know he's for real. Unfortunately his plan is thwarted when the local villainy bank refuses to fund his moon stealing scheme because he has been recently replaced as the top villain of the world by a geeky “super” villain named “Vector” (Jason Segel) that is half Bill Gates and half Howard from “The Big Bang Theory” who is lucky enough to also be related to the villainy bank loan officer. Gru does have a few things in his favor, he has many minions, millions of little yellow guys that do his bidding (although sometimes they misunderstand the biddings). There's also his hard of hearing lead scientist that often confuses such demands as “make me a dart gun” with “make me a fart gun.” As you can well imagine insane humor is to follow.

In traditional feel good family movie manner, we discover Gru always had big dreams as a child that were continually being shot down by his sometimes realist, most times just plain mean mother (voiced by Disney favorite Julie Andrews). Not the least of which was the desire to be an astronaut and visit the moon. Thus his need to steal the moon and at least fulfilling this one childhood dream. As if this, his loss of standing as Evil Villain of the world, and a young upstart thwarting his every plan at world domination wasn't enough. What would such a person need in order to make his life that much better?

Why to have three cute little orphans move in of course! Sure, it all starts as the perfect plan to use the kids in order to pull of his scheme to steal what he needs to complete his plan from Vector. But we all know how it's going to end up. Thus just like every movie that involves children from, “Big Daddy” to “Up,” Gru has to go through self discovery. He must struggle with reclaiming his position as Super Villain, steal the moon, get his mother's approval, learn the folly of his scheme, and basically learn the value of family.

I want to say the story line is tired and that this movie couldn't pull it off. But then I would be lying. The mishaps are indeed funny, all the heart warming and impending sadness are well enacted, and the over all theme of family shines even in Gru's world of insane villainy. It delivers on all important and expected ways. Though predictable and formulaic it tackles the subject matter creatively and different enough to make it an excellent movie. If nothing else I've learned the importance of minions and intend to get a few before I make any more plans of world conquest.

With that, I'll score it 4 death rays out of 5. I held back one because it is still the same old story. Even though it is not original enough to be totally killer it is very enjoyable to watch poor genius Gru deal with the many mishaps that come his way. I also may have failed myself seeing this in 2D. I'm sure the fart gun is more impressive in 3.

Farewell from the beasts and I,
'Til next we bleed,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Last Airbender

"The Last Airbender" (2010) Dir. M. Night Shyamalan

My Synopsis: Start with a perfectly good 3 season Nickelodeon animated series, take all the season one scripts and chop out what you think is the best parts (without watching even 5 minutes of 1 episode), smash it all together into a 2 hour greatest hits package starring relative unknowns and the “Slumdog Millionaire” kid and what do you get? A twist! A twist! Nope, not even that, unless you count the knife being twisted into your back for believing that Shyamalan couldn't mess it up.

Comments: Ok, so it's a lesson I should have learned a long time ago and for some unexplainable reason I always end up buying into the belief that Shyamalan can make a good movie. I mean “The Sixth Sense” wasn't horrible and “Unbreakable” was actually pretty entertaining. “Signs” had great promise but logic inevitably failed (aliens allergic to water attack a planet full of water to harvest people – made of water), “The Village” was almost a successful period piece (if the period was now and the village were a commune, “Lady in the Water” and “The Happening” well, had nothing happening. But I digress, this was supposed to be about Avatar. No wait, “The Last Airbender.” Avatar was a scifi remake of “Dances with Wolves” while “The Last Airbender” was the murdering of a kids TV show. You know where I think Shyamalan went wrong? He quit asking Bruce Willis to be in his movies.

Anyway, so I fell for it again in the hopes that if given a beloved concept that already came with ready made scripts than M. Night couldn't mess it up. I was wrong. I'll get the good stuff out of the way first since there was so little of it. Noah Ringer was without a doubt the perfect Aang. He looked, sounded, and moved exactly like his animated alter ego. There is no doubt he's done his research. Nicola Peltz was a reasonable Katara. Apa was very big and Momo was interesting. Now on to the crap...

Mr. Shamalama, his name is Aang (long A + ng, not Ahng, watch the show, listen, oh wait, someone didn't do his homework)! Sokka is supposed to be comic relief. He was not funny at all. Every character, for the most part, can be associated with a race of people. In the animated series many of them were Asian so I can see a need to delineate. But the Fire Nation is Chinese! That much is pretty well written by their names and way that they speak, traditions, etc. I wouldn't expect an Irish director to make them Irish I will not accept an Indian making them Indian. I'm sorry if the bad guys are Chinese, it has nothing to with politics or personal preferences. It's just that they fit the characteristics.

This is where I get to pretend I don't know the real story this movie is supposed to be telling and treat it as if I were just any person walking into this movie without a preconceived idea of what it is about. Guess what, 103 minutes later I still don't know. The story moves so fast and gives so little information all I understand is some kid has to save the world from these fire guys while the fire guys are hunting him down and want to take of the world. Oh! And one of the fire guys hates him but saves him in order to keep hunting him because he has daddy issues. Not to mention there is no real resolution by the end (it is only one of the three seasons) and obviously there are meant to be sequels. Fortunately the movie sucks so bad, with ratings so horrible that the sequels will undoubtedly be killed. Based on what we learned from earlier Shyamalan movies this could have been avoided if he would have just got on hands and knees and begged Bruce Willis to star. Who knows, he might have been a good Aang (Ang not Ahng).

Apparently M. Night has a back up plan though. A new movie about a bunch of people stuck in an elevator and... unknown to all of them, one of them is the Devil. I hope it stars Bruce Willis, he'd make an awesome devil.

From the beasts and I,
'Til next we bleed,
JP Hunt

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nightmare on Elm Street 2010

A N i g h t m a r e o n E l m S t r e e t ( 2 0 1 0 )

My synopsis: Rorshack flips out, mugs Freddie for his sweater and claws, kills John Connor and a Twilight vamp (only proves he may not be all bad), and tries to kill a friend of Veronica mars and the “Youth In Revolt” hottie.

Comments: Basically a mash up of the first 4 Freddy movies that strips out Freddie's charm and panache. This is a seriously emo interpretation with dark and grainy cinematography, annoying use of blurs and ground cameras, slow pacing, and morose acting. The trademark scenes were either barely there (i.e. Freddie's clawed hand between Nancy's legs in the bathtub) or a strange combination from the original movies (the hallway that turns to liquid; even the way Freddy is defeated – I know, spoiler, but seriously, is it?) which made them both predictable and boring. There is no element of horror in this movie, though Freddy's interest in children is laid out in graphic detail (he is a chi-mo) and his vengeance is based more on his desire to finish what he started rather than the children paying for the sins of their parents. T

This is not the pop culture archetype that we know and love, this Freddy is far from his sadistic humored self. That much said, can you believe they were green lighted for a sequel? This would be the true horror of this film. It's no wonder Craven damned this project from the start. It never stops amazing me when a writer takes another persons work, mixes it all up, then claims it is theirs.

I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars and that's being generous. If you can manage to stay awake through the whole thing it is pretty cool to see the way film makers jumbled everything together. You can here Jason and talk about it more on our podcast... (Creepercast on

My advice is if you want to continue worshiping Freddy as serial killing icon, stick to the original series!

'Til next we bleed!
JP Hunt

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Solemn Promise

Hello me and anyone/everyone else who may actually be reading this. I haven't been a very good blogger, i must confess, but this is my solemn oath that I will be better in the very near future. The intent of this page is essentially for me to blow off steam, review and discuss movies, music, television, pop culture, and life; which i truly intend to do very soon. In the meantime you can hear me and my friend Jason discuss horror movies on The creepercast located at and read current comments on our Facebook page (creepercast). That much said... coming soon to this page...

Reviews... Movies...
"The Last Airbender"
"A Nightmare On Elm Street" (2010)
"Despicable Me"
"Kick Ass"

Reviews... Music...
Rob Zombie - Hellbilly Deluxe 2
Five Finger Death Punch - War Is the Answer [DELUXE EDITION] (CD/DVD)
Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare

Scripts in progress...
"VZB (Volunteer Zombie-killing Brigade)"
"No Trespassing"

Script segments...
"VZB(Volunteer Zombie-killing Brigade): Origins 'Lt. Sangre'"
"No Trespassing"

and much much more...

from the beasts and I